Love & Lemons Carrot Cake Smoothie

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Growing up, I would walk through the front door after school and instantly take a deep inhale, hoping to capture the scent of toasty spices drifting through the air. The aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger could only mean one thing: My mother was preparing carrot cake.
Her cake was wonderful. No matter how my day had gone, if I had failed to study for a math test or if I had been chosen last for a floor hockey team in gym class, a single slice of it would make everything great. Truly, poof.




But, of course, it was way too tasty to consume just one slice. My sister Karen and I would eat the first slices as an afternoon snack, then help ourselves to more after dinner. And if we grew hungry again before bedtime, it felt wrong not to eat another sliver. How could we waste a freshly prepared carrot cake? (When it comes to words to live by, these are some I strongly endorse.)

Love & Lemons Carrot Cake Smoothie
Love & Lemons Carrot Cake Smoothie

To put it simply, the cake disappeared so quickly that earning your fair piece became a competitive sport. If you didn’t grab your next slice quickly enough, you’d miss out. So, after a seemingly unending series of squabbles between Karen and me (sorry, Mom! ), we devised a system. If we wanted a piece of the carrot cake, we had to make a claim. Indeed, we would use a toothpick to violently cut our initials in the frosting. That slice of cake would be off-limits to everyone else.




Thanks to our new approach, I was able to make my carrot cake last longer than one night. I developed the habit of putting some, neatly signed “JD,” in the fridge and sneaking a little for breakfast the next day: as soothing as my mother’s carrot cake was after school, I preferred it much more in the morning. (It’s unclear whether this was because I didn’t intend to eat it at the time or because it became moister and more tasty overnight.) Whatever the reason, I still believe that there is nothing better than carrot cake for breakfast.

Related Stories These days, however, having actual carrot cake first thing in the morning is a little too sweet for me. That’s where the carrot cake smoothie recipe from my latest books, Love & Lemons Simple Feel Good Food, comes in. This creamy, luscious smoothie recipe tastes just like my mom’s carrot cake. It’s sweet, earthy, nutty, and full of toasty spices.




However, it is composed entirely of natural foods and plant-based ingredients, making it a healthful and energizing way to start the day. It’s also ideal for dinner preparation. To make my carrot cake smoothie recipe, I begin by roasting carrots and sweet potatoes, which enhances their natural sweetness. I know the sweet potato may seem like an unusual ingredient, but believe me when I say it makes this smoothie unbelievably creamy and accentuates the carrot flavor. It also provides plenty of nutrients such as fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

Cake

Love & Lemons Carrot Cake Smoothie
Love & Lemons Carrot Cake Smoothie

After roasting, I place the vegetables in the freezer for an hour or two. When they’re completely frozen, I split them into four containers, each holding enough for one smoothie. I then add frozen pineapple for acidic taste, pecans for nutty richness, chia seeds for healthy fats, and warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.




I keep these individual smoothie packets in the freezer until I’m ready to make a smoothie (usually the next morning, because I still have no carrot cake restraint!). Then I throw the contents of one container into the blender and add a couple more ingredients. A generous glug of almond milk gets the blender going, vanilla extract provides warmth, and a teaspoon of salt brings out all of the flavors. The sweet potatoes contribute to the wonderful texture. It may not be cake, but it does taste like dessert in a glass.

I still look forward to eating my mother’s carrot cake when we get together, but in the meantime, this smoothie is the perfect way to satisfy my carrot cake fix. It’s quick, delicious, and makes me feel great. But what is the best part? I never have to bother about inscribing it with my initials so I can use it later. With a supply of smoothie packs made and ready in the freezer, I can eat carrot cake for breakfast every day.



Carrot cake smoothie recipe

Ingredients (Freezer Prep for 4 Smoothies):
8 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Melted coconut oil, for drizzling
2 cups frozen pineapple
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons chia seeds
4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Love & Lemons Carrot Cake Smoothie
Love & Lemons Carrot Cake Smoothie

Remaining Ingredients For Each Smoothie:
3 soft Medjool dates, pitted
1 1/4 cups almond milk, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
4 ice cubes




Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Place the carrots and sweet potato on one of the baking sheets and drizzle with coconut oil. Toss to coat and spread evenly on the baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

3. Let cool, then spread onto the second prepared baking sheet. Freeze for one hour, then divide into four freezer-safe containers. Evenly divide the frozen pineapple, pecans, chia seeds, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg among the containers and freeze until ready to use.




4. Make one smoothie: If your dates are not soft, soak them in a small bowl of warm water for five to 10 minutes. In a blender, place one container of the carrots and sweet potatoes, the soft dates, almond milk, vanilla, and salt. Blend until smooth, adding more almond milk as needed to blend. Add the ice and blend again.

ALSO READ: Healthy Carrot Cake Breakfast Bars


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